5-Speed Classic: 1985 BMW 535i E28

I don’t know what the future holds for automotive enthusiasts, but I can tell you for certain that we live in exciting times.  A few years ago a car like this sweet BMW 5-series would have cost you an arm/leg and in a few years they’ll be all crushed or appreciated to silly money. New cars, while clinically fast and superbly comfortable, are missing that crucial man-machine symbiosis that makes them seem like something other than a pile of parts.  But for the next few years you can drive stuff like this and seem like a forward thinking genius…I guess. Find this 1985 BMW 535i E28 offered for $3,500 in SF Bay Area, CA via craigslist.

From the seller:

1985 BMW 535i 

condition: good 

cylinders: 6 cylinders 

drive: rwd 

fuel: gas 

odometer: 255000 

paint color: white 

size: full-size 

title status: clean 

transmission: manual 

type: sedan 

Classic Hard to find, 5 speed Manual 1985 BMW 535i. V. Good condition 

$3500 or best offer. I am open to Serious offers.

Car has 255K miles. Runs great.

condition: very good 

cylinders: 6 cylinders 

drive: rwd 

fuel: gas 


paint color: white 

size: full-size 

title status: clean 

transmission: manual 

type: sedan 

I am finally ready to let go of my beloved and in all honesty the best handling and most reliable car I’ve owned. Over the past few days I spent several hours cleaning it, waxing and polishing it. And it looks great, I must say. I still have to do the wheels and tires and finish vacuuming the carpet. As you can see the paint still has a nice shine/reflection despite its age. This is the Original paint. Check out this article on this car: 


See the scratches on the passenger side and couple of rust spots in the trunk and left side below rear window. Driver side is covered with a lamp skin cover but it is not ripped, it is in mint condition same as the other seat and the rear seats (Which I always covered with a cloth to keep them in new condition). I mostly ride a motorcycle and don’t drive the car much. I thought I post it here before I list it on eBay. Please contact me with an offer if you know about these cars and the fact that they are becoming hard to find, especially with a Manual Transmission. NO tire kickers or joy test drives. The car runs great and accelerates quickly, I am still amazed how quick this car is. It is actually quicker than many new cars. Lots of power and acceleration. I have a stack of receipts for all the parts I replaced and work that was done. 

It is well maintained, many things were changed on it: 

New alternator 

New high performance 3 yr warranty battery. 

Hoses and belts. 

Clutch, plate,..etc. 

Transmission, 5 speeds was replaced.

Brake master cylinder and pump.

Oil and filter changed every 3000-4000 miles and service light reset. Recently did an engine flush with German made engine flush, changed Oil and filter.

New electrical leather seats. No rips or tears. Protected with lamb skin covers. These were taken off a 735i so they are slightly wider and more comfortable. Have arm rests too.

Oil pressure sensor. 

Radiator and fan. 

Water pump and Thermostat. 

Guipo….this is a rubber balancer/shock absorber for the drive shaft. 

Valves adjusted with new bolts and gasket. 

2 complete sets of wheels and tires. One new set of tires. At least a $1000 worth of extra/spare parts. 

New set of carpet mats. 

Just overhauled and adjusted the hand brake and tested it. 

Am/Fm/CD player with detachable face. The face is removed in the photos but I have it. 4 speakers were replaced.

Clean interior. No rips in the leather seats. 

New computer with Dinan chip. 

Transmission and rear deferential were flushed and new fluid was installed. 

New headlights. Fog lights. 

All fuses were replaced with new ones. 

Spark plugs and other misc. 

AC works. 

And much more that I can’t remember now. 

Clean title and Pink Slip. No accidents. 

The bad stuff: 

The windshield is cracked from the inside. This happened when I was moving/carrying things inside the car. The windshield does not leak (Even in heavy rain). So I didn’t bother to replace it as it isn’t causing any problems. I called around and these cost around $125 replaced. 

The normal nicks and scratches on the paint. Spot of rust on the left side of the rear window and in the trunk. This is a California car but has couple of rust spots. 

Some of the movements on the electrical front seats don’t work. This is an easy fix. 

The odometer stopped working 2 yrs ago. This is simply a small plastic gear that needs replacing due to age. I have not put many miles on it so the mileage is fairly accurate as I ride my motorcycle and don’t drive the car. Has about 254K miles on it. 

The rear muffler has a hole in it. I was going to patch it but I really like how the car sounds with the hole so I left it as is. 

Sun roof does not work too well. It will open just fine but when you try to close it, it closes un-evenly. So I kept working at it till I got it to close correctly and left it closed. You can leave it or fix it. 

Let me know if you want to see it/ or have any questions. 

I would drive this car anywhere, it is very reliable. 

Takes Regular Gas (New BMW take Premium), gets decent mileage and is very safe. 

Despite its age it handles better than many new cars (Honest opinion) and more reliable. The older BMW’s seem to have thicker steel compared to the new ones which have a lot of plastic and lighter steel to save weight and cost. Again, 

this is NOT an Automatic. It has a 5 speed Manual Transmission Please make a serious offer.

See a better way to drive an old thing? tips@dailyturismo.com